Inikah Saatnya Motorola Mengundurkan Diri?

Posted: 2 February 2008 in Other Mobile Phones
Tags: , , , , ,

Motorola memang pernah berjaya, terutama pada jaman kesuksesan RAZR V3 yang begitu melegenda. RAZR-mania seakan melanda berbagai belahan dunia pada sekitar akhir tahun 2004 sampai awal tahun 2006. Selama hampir dua tahun, penjualan RAZR V3 dilaporkan sudah melampaui rekor fantastis : lebih dari 100 juta unit terjual di seluruh dunia! Rekor yang sangat sulit dipecahkan oleh type handphone lain, bahkan oleh Nokia sekalipun.

Dengan sangat suksesnya RAZR, Motorola seakan terbuai. Handphone-handphone produksi mereka selanjutnya sebagian besar didasarkan pada desain RAZR, bahkan dibuatlah type lain dengan index 4 huruf digital seperti KRZR, RIZR, atau ROKR. Dan V3 pun dikembangkan menjadi V3i, V3x, V3xx, dan seterusnya dengan pola yang hampir sama, tapi semuanya tetap mempunyai benang merah yang sangat jelas pada akarnya yaitu RAZR. Seakan tidak ada inovasi lain yang dapat dikembangkan oleh Motorola selain yang berakar pada RAZR, sementara di saat yang sama vendor-vendor lain mulai berinovasi dengan pada desain dan fitur.

Menjelang akhir tahun 2006 perkembangan vendor lain semakin nyata dengan peningkatan pada market share-nya masing-masing, sementara Motorola mulai menunjukkan gejala penurunan. Samsung semakin memperluas penetrasinya ke seluruh dunia termasuk ke Amerika yang selama ini menjadi pasar paling besar bagi Motorola. Demikian juga Nokia yang semakin berjaya di Eropa, Timur Tengah, Afrika, dan Asia Pasifik. Demikian juga halnya dengan Sony Ericsson yang semakin bersinar sejak kesuksesan seri Walkman dan Cyber-shot. Tak ketinggalan LG yang juga mulai menunjukkan taringnya terutama di Eropa, selain di Korea sendiri tentunya.

Awal tahun 2007, Samsung— yang sebelumnya berada di peringkat ketiga pemimpin pasar setelah Nokia dan Motorola — dilaporkan telah berhasil melampaui Motorola dan menanjak ke peringkat kedua, menggeser Motorola ke peringkat ketiga. Hal ini terus berlanjut sampai akhir tahun 2007 di mana di saat seluruh vendor lain dalam 5 besar dunia mengalami peningkatan market share dan keuntungan, Motorola dilaporkan mengalami penurunan jumlah market share dan juga mengalami kerugian yang sangat besar.

Sejak dirilisnya hasil penjualan dan financial statement sampai akhir tahun 2007 (laporan kuartal keempat tahun 2007), muncul berbagai analisis dan spekulasi tentang kemungkinan mundurnya Motorola dari bisnis handphone, bahkan hal ini diperkuat oleh press release dari Motorola Media Center sendiri yang menyatakan bahwa Motorola kemungkinan akan memisahkan divisi mobile dari perusahaan induknya.

Berikut petikan dari beberapa website berkaitan dengan kemungkinan mundurnya Motorola dari bisnis handphone ini.

Dari Motorola Media Center :

Motorola to Explore Structural and Strategic Realignment of its Businesses to Enhance Shareholder Value

Company will evaluate alternatives to accelerate the ability of its Mobile Device Business to recapture growth and profitability in an expanding global market

SCHAUMBURG, Ill., – January 31, 2008 – Motorola, Inc. (NYSE: MOT) today announced it is exploring the structural and strategic realignment of its businesses to better equip its Mobile Devices business to recapture global market leadership and to enhance shareholder value. The company’s alternatives may include the separation of Mobile Devices from its other businesses in order to permit each business to grow and better serve its customers.

“All of our businesses have exceptional people, products and intellectual property and the ability to achieve category leadership in their markets,” said Greg Brown, President and Chief Executive Officer. “We are exploring ways in which our Mobile Devices Business can accelerate its recovery and retain and attract talent while enabling our shareholders to realize the value of this great franchise.”

The company does not intend to discuss developments with respect to the exploration of strategic alternatives unless or until its Board of Directors has approved a definitive transaction or the process is otherwise complete. There can be no assurance that any transaction will occur or, if one is undertaken, its terms or timing.

About Motorola
Motorola is known around the world for innovation in communications. The company develops technologies, products and services that make mobile experiences possible. Our portfolio includes communications infrastructure, enterprise mobility solutions, digital set-tops, cable modems, mobile devices and Bluetooth accessories. Motorola is committed to delivering next generation communication solutions to people, businesses and governments. A Fortune 100 company with global presence and impact, Motorola had sales of US $36.6 billion in 2007. For more information about our company, our people and our innovations, please visit http://www.motorola.com.

Business Risks
This press release contains “forward-looking statements” as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements include , but are not limited to possible actions related to the company’s Mobile Devices business. Motorola cautions the reader that the risk factors below, as well as those on pages 16 through 24 in Item 1A of Motorola’s 2006 Annual Report on Form 10-K and in its other SEC filings, could cause Motorola’s actual results to differ materially from those estimated or predicted in the forward-looking statements. Factors that may impact forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to market conditions in general and applicable to possible alternatives for the businesses, and tax and regulatory matters. Motorola undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement or risk factor, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Dari engadget :

Analyst: Motorola may exit handset business
Posted Jan 29th 2008 6:32AM by Thomas Ricker
Filed under: Cellphones

Hey, that’s what Nomura International analyst, Richard Windsor, told his clients in a note published this morning. Instead of handsets, Moto may choose to refocus on becoming an “enterprise and government company.” While on a roll, Richard also raised speculation that a Chinese company might scoop up the troubled Moto before calling it “unlikely as those vendors don’t have much of an idea how to fix Motorola’s problems.” Problems he attributes to the platform and software, not hardware. Man Moto, what a long hard fall it’s been since your 2005 RAZR heyday.

Masih dari engadget :

Motorola still in the red, no light at the end of the tunnel yet
Posted Jan 23rd 2008 2:59PM by Chris Ziegler
Filed under: Motorola

Motorola’s fourth quarter and 2007 earnings turned out to be pretty bleak indeed — as expected, perhaps — and according to the company, it expects a further slide through the first quarter in both sales and market share. The company pulled in about $9.65 billion through the final quarter of the year, which sounds like a nice number and all until you realize that it’s an 18.2 percent decline from its sales in the fourth quarter of 2006. For the full year, the company garnered $36.6 billion, down 15 percent from 2006 on the whole. In terms of handsets, Moto pushed 40.9 million of them in the quarter — with 53 percent sold in North America — which it estimates is good enough for 12.4 percent market share worldwide. New CEO Greg Brown said that he believes the company is aligning its strategy the way it needs to be, but that its handset business is going to take even longer to recover than expected. How far down the charts do these guys stand to slide before they’re back in the black?

Dari CRN Australia :

Ovum says Motorola’s mobile phone division is struggling
25 January 2008 11:24AM

Even David “Goldenballs” Beckham’s promotional activity of Motorola products can’t help the mobile phone vendor’s Quarter 4 and full year 2007 results gloom in the handset division.

Company sales for the quarter were $9.65 billion for the quarter, up 9 percent sequentially but down 18 percent over the year. Gross margin was down 2 percentage points sequentially to 26 percent, but flat over the year. Operating loss widened to $-190k (130 k) from $-100k (70 k) in Q3 and a profit of $753 million a year earlier.

For the full year, sales were $36.6 billion down from $42.8 billion in 2006. Gross margin fell by 3 percentage points to 27 percent and operating earnings were $-550 million down from $4.09 billion in 2006.

Motorola shipped 40.9 million handsets in Q4. Average sale price fell $3 to $118, bringing sales of $4.8 billion, down 38 percent year on year. The division returned an operating loss of $-388 million compared with a profit of $341 million in Q4 06.

Incoming CEO Greg Brown said that he feels privileged to be CEO of Motorola. He thanked all the staff, suppliers and customers of Motorola and he re-iterated that they are absolutely not satisfied with the current position and are working as hard as possible to fix it. He also expects Motorola to lose further handset market share in Q1 2008 and said the portfolio will be more robust in 2009.

According to Martin Garner, Mobile director at Ovum, given the length and depth of the handset problems, it’s increasingly difficult to see why shareholders should see logic in keeping the divisions together.

The handset volumes are well below Motorola’s normal seasonal pattern. Greg Brown pointed to heavy competition, gaps in the portfolio (3G, China and other emerging markets), new product development being late and weakening demand for existing products (KRZR, RAZR2). On the latter, it’s not clear if this was driven by US consumer conditions, said Garner.

He wonders if there are valuable synergies between the other divisions and a handset business that is in such difficulty. Or would it be better to break the company up?

“There has been speculation about who might buy the handset division. We think that a sale is unlikely. But there might be interest in a Sony Ericsson style joint venture,” said Garner.

Dari Cellular News :

Could Motorola Fall Off the Mobile Map?

It may not be a question that many in the industry are asking themselves yet, or at least not out loud, but each poor set of results increases the possibility that Motorola could follow Siemens out of the back door of the mobile phone industry. IMS Research says that whilst it yet remains unlikely that anything so drastic might occur, the latest results from Motorola’s Mobile Devices unit did little to inspire.

The headlines showed year on year handset sales down 38%, causing profits to fall 84% and losses of $388m as shares fell a further 16%. However, is Motorola simply recovering from the blunting of the RAZR? Its handsets have not always been well received in some parts of the world, all this changed with the RAZR. A phone that, through style and design, gave the average consumer exactly what they wanted; a slim, attractive phone for calls and texting.

Unfortunately this phenomenal but narrow success massively raised expectations that, as we are witnessing, are not easily fulfilled. Instead of delivering a range of ideas, technologies and form factors Motorola continued to follow the same formula by searching for the next big hit. A case of “the RAZR was big, so let’s release the RAZR2.” Perhaps it comes from a corporate culture infected by the fear factor. Rather than systematically platform-building in new areas, Motorola seems to have tried a bit of this and a bit of that as it looked for the next rabbit to pull from out its hat.

The situation is not helped by some activist groups in its ranks of investors. Drawn in by the excellent results of a few years ago, they did not seem to mind that Motorola had not traditionally accounted for more than 20% of the mobile phone market. Was it that, temporarily at least, it was excelling itself and punching above its weight?

Nor has the quick reaction of the competition helped. Whilst being a little slow to the table with 3G devices, and missing the boat for clamshell and thin designs, Nokia went about strengthening these areas of its portfolio. Samsung was quick to produce a number of thin phones, LG has been moving into higher-end fashion phones whilst Sony Ericsson has been expanding its lower range – all impacting Motorola’s success. Combined, these companies have dulled Motorola’s edge and now some investors are looking at how to get their money back.

It may be right that more capital could be generated by splitting up Motorola into separate business units. This would free up those successful areas, such as Home & Networks and Enterprise Mobility, from the troubled handsets group; but this is unlikely to be good news for the latter. Siemens went down this road with BenQ not too long ago and we know what happened there. Again I would expect that one or more of the Asian manufacturers would feel that they could build on the Motorola brand and presence, but would they give it the time and strategy to overcome its inherent problems? Additionally I feel that market pressure, should it go it alone, would inhibit the Mobile Devices unit and continue to pressure it to simply cut costs, at the expense of long term strategy.

Motorola seems to be heading in the right direction with the release of attractive music phones, fresh new designs and multimedia-focused products to accompany its staple lower cost and RAZR-based handsets. The announcement to return to Qualcomm as a 3G chip supplier may help as well. Once Motorola progresses in these different segments I expect that, whilst maybe not taking large chunks of market share, it will sharpen up to increase profitability, thereby guaranteeing its continued place in the market.

Dari Unwired View :

Motorola is dumping Mobile phone division

Motorola has just issued a press release that it’s:

“…exploring the structural and strategic realignment of its businesses to better equip its Mobile Devices business to recapture global market leadership and to enhance shareholder value. The company’s alternatives may include the separation of Mobile Devices from its other businesses in order to permit each business to grow and better serve its customers.”

Now, I’m no corporate speak expert, but from my stock playing days I remember, that these kind of “strategic explorations” mean only one thing. The company has made a decision to dump the underperforming unit, and is announcing to the world that it is for sale. They might have even received some offers for it, but are not really satisfied with price, and now are looking if they can get a better one.

Well, after last year I’m not surprised. Their new RAZR line failed to recapture previous excitement, current flagship MOTO Z8 is hopelessly outdated, the features of the upcoming Motorola Z10 are way behind the competition, their numerous leaks about exciting new phone line-up failed to produce any result (and even if real , they won’t get to market before Q4), and the phone division lost over a billion dollars last year.

So, what happens now? With the results like these, the spin-off is unlikely. My guess is, that there will be either a private equity buyout, or the repeat of IBM/Lenovo story.

Some enterprising Chinese ODM with the worldwide expansion ambitions, will pick up the struggling division. They will get all the MOTO Mobile assets, plus the right to sell mobile phones under Motorola brand for a few years.

Anyway, I certainly hope it will be IBM/Lenovo and not BenQ/Siemens replay.

Dari gsmarena :

Motorola joins Siemens and Philips?
01 Feb, 2008

You got it right. The used-to-be number 1 cell phone manufacturer Motorola is considering selling its mobile phone division. It is not sure yet if a deal will go through but the company has officially confirmed looking for a buyer.

Another option for Motorola, which seems less probable at this stage, is to make a stand-alone company of its cell phone division. Let’s remind you that following the sweeping success of the RAZR series in 2004 and 2005, things have been really rough for the company, which pretty much started the slim phone craze.

Last year Motorola lost their second spot in terms of market share to Samsung. Net sales dropped to $36.6 billion in 2007 from over $42 billion a year earlier, resulting in an operating loss of $553 million. The net loss is estimated at $49 million, official company sources reveal.

We are yet to see if we’re at the point of good-or-nothing-at-all about Moto, but Motorola’s Mobile phone division is in for great changes. And those are long needed too. That gives us one more reason to look forward to the World Mobile Congress this month, as Motorola is still set to take part.

Dari Electonista :

Ericsson would consider Moto phone biz buy
Friday, February 1st 2008

Swedish telecoms firm Ericsson is contemplating buying a spun-off Motorola mobile business if it becomes available, company chief Carl-Henric Svanberg said today at an investment analyst conference. The official, whose company forms half of cellphone giant Sony-Ericsson, explained that it would be “cautious” about buying any mobile division that would split from Motorola but that the company would nonetheless watch any services that might be made available. Ericsson has historically avoided buying out other companies because it often believes it would be “better off” improving on its own, claims Svanberg.

Acquiring Motorola’s mobile division would greatly increase Sony-Ericsson’s stake in the cellphone industry, which grew to 9 percent in 2007 but is eclipsed by Motorola. The American company still claimed 13 percent of world cellphone marketshare despite a dramatic 38 percent decrease in phone sales year-over-year and would effectively give Sony-Ericsson a near-automatic boost to 22 percent total share. The current share leader is Nokia with 40 percent of all phones sold worldwide.

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